SA, Denmark renew water pact for five years

South Africa and Denmark have extended their working agreement to strengthen cooperation in the water sector for a further five years.

The Department of Water and Sanitation and Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA), under the Ministry of Environment and Food, officially extended and entered into Phase 3 of their strategic collaboration and cooperation in the field of water sector, water use, and water resources.

The treaty was formally ratified by Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, and Danish Ambassador, Tobias Elling Rehfeld, during a dinner meeting held at Waterkloof in Pretoria East on Tuesday.

During a meeting, Mchunu and Rehfeld exchanged signed letters of extension; discussed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), water sector challenges and current trends; and brainstormed a way forward.

The agreement will focus mainly on activities, including technology transfer, research and innovation with the purpose of supporting entities such as Water Research Commission, and training and capacity building with an intention of exploring opportunities to strengthen capacity development through training and student support.

The agreement will also focus on industrial water efficiency, with a view of gaining practical experience with water efficiency measures at industry level.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to the Danish Government for their assistance to ensure water security in South Africa.

“Thank you for extending this agreement [and] we are genuinely excited about this partnership. This comes at a time when we are faced with a number of challenges in the water sector which we are confident that we will overcome, and this comes in handy [because] water is such an important resource, as you know that it has no substitute,” Mchunu said.

Rehfeld indicated that through this partnership, issues including water saving, recycling processes, metering and monitoring technology will also be looked at.

“This is a continuation of the existing partnership [and] we are looking forward to continuing with this partnership which has been in existence for a number of years now. We hope that we are making a positive contribution,” Rehfeld said.

The Danish are global leaders in water efficiency and waste water management.

Source: South African Government News Agency